Top 15 Tips on Increasing Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is crucial for maintaining good health. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants that support a strong immune system and help prevent chronic diseases. However, many people struggle to incorporate an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables into their daily diet.
In this blog, we will share 15 practical tips to help you increase your fruit and vegetable consumption and reap the numerous health benefits they offer.
1. Start your day with fruit:
Kickstart your mornings by including a serving of fruit in your breakfast. Add sliced bananas, berries, or chopped apples to your cereal, oatmeal, or yoghurt.
2. Make smoothies:
Smoothies are an excellent way to pack multiple servings of fruits and vegetables into one delicious drink. Blend 1-2 portions fruits like berries, mangoes or pineapple and add in 1-2 veggies like spinach or kale for more nutrition.
3. Experiment with salads:
Salads can be exciting and flavourful when mixing different fruits and vegetables. Try combinations like mixed greens with strawberries, and spinach with mango, or add sliced apples and grapes to a traditional green salad.
4. Prepare fruit and vegetable snacks:
Cut up fruits and vegetables into snack-sized portions and store them in easily accessible containers in the refrigerator. Grab them whenever you need a quick and healthy snack.
5. Incorporate vegetables into your sandwiches:
Add a variety of vegetables to your sandwiches, such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, or radish. This not only adds crunch and freshness but also boosts the nutritional value.
6. Make vegetable-based soups:
Prepare hearty soups using a variety of vegetables. Soups are a great way to consume many vegetables in one meal. Experiment with flavours and textures to find combinations you enjoy.
7. Try vegetable stir-fries:
Stir-frying vegetables retain their nutrients and natural flavours. Use a mix of colourful vegetables like chopped peppers, broccoli, carrots, mangetout, beansprouts, water chestnuts and sugar snap peas. Season with herbs and spices for added taste.
8. Keep a fruit bowl on your countertop:
Place a bowl of fresh fruits on your kitchen counter where you can see them. This serves as a visual reminder and makes it easy to grab a piece of fruit as a snack.
9. Sneak vegetables into pasta sauces:
Blend vegetables like spinach, carrots, squash and courgette into your pasta sauces for added nutrition. This is a great way to increase vegetable intake, especially for picky eaters.
10. Have a side of vegetables with every meal:
Make it a habit to include a side of vegetables with lunch and dinner. Steam, roast, or sauté them to add variety and enhance the taste. Salad also counts here!
11. Explore new recipes:
Look for recipes that feature fruits and vegetables as the main ingredients. Trying new dishes will keep your meals interesting and help you discover delicious ways to incorporate more produce into your diet.
12. Opt for fruit-based desserts:
Satisfy a sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruits. Enjoy a bowl of mixed berries, a sliced mango, or a refreshing fruit salad, maybe with some Greek yoghurt or ice cream.
13. Set a challenge for yourself:
Maybe try a vegetable that you previously didn’t enjoy but if you cook it in a different way, you may enjoy it! Or try a new fruit that is in season that you haven’t had before.
14. Grow your own produce:
If you have space and time, consider starting a small garden. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be rewarding, and you’ll have easy access to fresh, organic produce. Tomatoes are a good one to start with!
15. Be a role model for others:
Lead by example and inspire your family, friends, and colleagues to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Share your experiences, recipes, and the benefits you’ve noticed from eating a diet rich in produce.
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1 – Geneva: WHO; 2005. Preventing chronic diseases: A vital investment.
2 – Geneva: WHO; 2009. Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks.
3 – Lock K, Pomerleau J, Causer L, McKee M. Low fruit and vegetable consumption. In: Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, Murray CJ, editors. Comparative quantification of health risks: Global and regional burden of disease attributable to selected major risk factors. Geneva: WHO; 2004.
4 – Geneva: WHO; 2002. World Health Report. Reducing risks, promoting healthy life.